Great Ocean Road
Take a ride through nature on the spectacular Great Ocean Road, which winds alongside the wild and windswept Southern Ocean from Geelong to Portland. This diverse and dramatic region takes in surf beaches, historic ports, whale lookouts, breathtaking mountain ranges, rainforests and national parks.See monster waves at Bells Beach and laze on the golden sands of Lorne. Visit an important Aboriginal site near Tower Hill or spot shipwrecks near the charming fishing village of Port Fairy. Of course, you can’t miss the Twelve Apostles – craggy limestone stacks rising majestically from the Southern Ocean.
Five highlights of your Great Ocean Road trip:
1. The spectacular coastline
Victoria’s dramatic south-west coastline covers an incredible range of scenery. See monster waves at the iconic surf spot of Bells Beach. Laze on the golden sands ofLorne. You can swim, surf, sea kayak or fish in Apollo Bay. Or soak up salty history in the charming old fishing village of Port Fairy. Enjoy family friendly swimming at Anglesea or get wild and windswept on Shipwreck Coast. Of course, you can’t miss theTwelve Apostles. These craggy limestone stacks rising majestically from the Southern Ocean are sure to leave you spellbound.
2. Wild and wonderful nature
From rainforests and rivers to old volcanoes and rugged coastlines, the Great Ocean Road showcases nature at it most diverse. In Great Otway National Park, you’ll see thundering waterfalls and sparkling gorges and walk through the tops of ancient mossy trees. Cruise through gorges and past spectacular caves at Cape Bridgewater. See ancient limestone towers that seem to float in the ocean at the Bay of Islands. Need to stretch your legs? You can see deserted sandy beaches, thick forests and some of Australia’s highest sea-cliffs on the 91km Great Ocean Walk.
3. Wildlife everywhere
The Great Ocean Road is really one long, curving spectator stand for native animals. In Warrnambool, you can watch southern right whales during their annual migration. See koalas, kangaroos, emus and waterbirds roam freely at Tower Hill State Game Reserve. Enjoy a game of golf alongside grazing kangaroos in Anglesea. See koalas in the wild at Kennett River and in the Great Otway National Park. Check out hundreds of fur seals at Cape Bridgewater and watch glow worms put on a spectacular light show at Melba Gully in the Great Otway National Park. Swim with dolphins at Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula. For something different, canoe alongside platypus on Lake Elizabeth at dawn.
4. Food, wine and all things fine
Need another sense to impress? The Great Ocean Road regions will tempt your tastebuds with sumptuous local produce, great dining and excellent wine regions. Go to the source for mouth-watering local delicacies. For seafood, step down to the wharf in any seaside town and be sure to visit the fishing co-ops in Lorne and Apollo Bay. Taste luscious berries from farms in Colac, Heywood, Gellibrand and Deans Marsh. Or get into the gourmet cheeses from delicatessens in Allansford, Timboon and Cooriemungle. Cool climate wineries stretch the length of the Great Ocean Road, so stop off for a drop at Colac, Apollo Bay, Timboon, Geelong and Henty. You’ll also enjoy fine food and warm hospitality in restaurants, cafés and tea rooms throughout the region.
5. Vibrant Aboriginal culture
Aboriginal stories connect the landscapes of the Great Ocean Road, from Wathaurong country in Geelong to the Gunditjmara region of the west. Taste bush tucker, learn about ancient remedies and watch boomerang throwing and didgeridoo playing in Geelong. Learn about the significance of the site nestled in an extinct volcano near Tower Hill from the Gunditjmara people. In heritage-listed Lake Condah, you’ll see the stone houses and fishing traps left from a permanent Aboriginal village.